This article starts off a serious of articles called Fighting Cancer with Early Detection and is brought to you by GenWay Biotech Incorporated. Our mission is to provide our readers with important facts and figures to enable patients to make better health decisions. This article is not written by a doctor, and it should not be used in place of your physician’s recommendation. You may wish to use the information provided in this article to facilitate a discussion with your physician. To learn more about GenWay Biotech’s cancer assessment, visit the website http://www.youtestyou.com.
The impact of cancer in the United States in undeniable. Cancer directly affects about one in three women and one in two men in the U.S (1), with more than 560,000 dyeing (2, 3) from it each year. It is widely known that the best chance to reduce these fatality numbers is through early detection. There are two major components of early detection of cancer: screening and education to promote early diagnosis.
Regular use of established screening tests can prevent the development of cancer. Either through identification and removal or treatment abnormalities, screening tests can improve survival and decrease mortality by detecting cancer at an early stage when treatment is more effective. It is important to note that screening refers to testing in individuals who have no symptoms for a particular disease) (4). This makes sense because in many cases symptoms are not present before cancer is diagnosed.
Early detection of cancer through regular screening has been shown to reduce the number of deaths from cancers of the colon and rectum, breast, and uterine cervix. For instance, in addition to detecting cancer early, regular screening can, in many cases, prevent colorectal cancer altogether. This is because some polyps, or growths, can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer (4).
Survival rates improve dramatically when cancer is diagnosed early and the disease is confined to the organ of origin. The relative 5-year survival rate for colorectal cancer when diagnosed at an early stage before it has spread is about 90%. But only about 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are found at that early stage. Once the cancer has spread to nearby organs or lymph nodes, the 5-year relative survival rate goes down, and if cancer has spread to distant organs (like the liver or lung) the rate is about 11% (4).
A standard 5-year survival rate refers to the percentage of patients who live at least 5 years after their cancer is diagnosed; it includes people with colorectal cancer who may die of other causes, such as heart disease. Five-year relative survival rates are adjusted for patients dying of other diseases, so they reflect the chances of not dying specifically from colorectal cancer. (ACS)
Another striking example is the fact that nine out of 10 women can survive breast cancer simply by detecting it early. Prognosis of a breast cancer depends largely upon its stage and grade at diagnosis, 5-year survival rates ranging from 84% in women diagnosed with Stage 1 disease to 18% in women with Stage 4 disease.
Education to promote early diagnosis should encompass the increased awareness of new screening tests and possible warning signs of cancer, among physicians, nurses and other health care providers as well as among the general public. People without symptoms or special risks need to be aware of these screening methodologies and to be sure they are communicated to the physician.
National organizations such as American Cancer Society (ACS), National Cancer Institute (NCI), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) are dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service. A table below represents the generally accepted screening methods based on cancer type for your reference.
This article is brought to you by GenWay Biotech Incorporated. Our company offers a cancer assessment aimed to detect cancer in the early stages under the brand name You Test You™. To learn more please visit the website http://www.youtestyou.com.
1. Horner MJ, Ries LAG, Krapcho M, Neyman N, Aminou R, Howlader N, Altekruse SF, Feuer EJ, Huang L, Mariotto A, Miller BA, Lewis DR, Eisner MP, Stinchcomb DG, Edwards BK (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2006, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2006/, based on November 2008 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, 2009.
2. U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 2004 Incidence and Mortality. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute, 2007.
3. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2009. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, 2009.
4. American Cancer Society. Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Facts and Figures 2009. American Cancer Society, 2009.